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Responding to Animals: Adam to the Zoo


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 6
  • Convenor: Professor Sue Wiseman
  • Tutors: Professor Sue Wiseman and other staff from the department
  • Assessment: coursework of 1000-1500 words (15%), a 2000-2500-word essay (35%) and a 2500-3000-word essay (50%)

Module description

How have we responded to animals? This module explores literary responses to animals from their naming by Adam to their diverse representations in contemporary writing. You will be invited to build on the knowledge and skills that you have acquired over your degree and use them making four studies of animal-human relationships in specific ways. Topics covered will include ideas about animals; farming, eating and hunting; the wild; the idea of the pet; zoological subjects.

Indicative module content

  • Ideas and the animal
  • Farming, eating, hunting
  • Medical, exotic and colonial
  • The pet, the family and their dangerous others
  • Chains, pens and films

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • demonstrate familiarity with the way literature articulates animal-human relationships
  • understand the ideas underpinning animal-human relationships
  • write about specific issues in animal-human representation in literature and to understand distinctions between periods in attitudes to the animal and the human.